One person believed dead in Homer fire Friday morning

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Firefighters work to contain a structure fire at 23 S. Main Street in the village of Homer Friday morning (Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

HOMER, N.Y. — One person is believed to be dead following a structure fire in an historic building in the village of Homer Friday morning.

At around 2:45 a.m., the Homer Fire Department was called to a report of smoke and flames inside a three-story building located at 23 S. Main Street.

The building is occupied on the first floor by the law office of Dave Ames, who owns the building, and a hair salon. The second and third floors consist of residential apartments.

The fire started in one of the apartments in the rear of the building, according to Cortland County Director of Emergency Response Scott Roman. Fire investigators believe one person was not able to make it out of the building safely, he said.

Power has been shut off to most of downtown Homer, and a large section of Main Street will likely be closed to traffic for most of the day Friday, he said.

“Obviously our biggest concern right now is the safety of the residents and the Main Street occupants,” Roman said.

One of the neighboring buildings suffered significant smoke damage, though the majority of the fire was contained to the Ames Law Office building. Part of the roof the Key Bank building caught on fire for a brief time, Roman said.

Fire officials are concerned the building could collapse, he said. Once the fire is put out, the building will be torn down.

The Cortland Fire Department, Cortlandville Fire Department, Preble Fire Department and Marathon Fire Department have all responded to the scene.

This story will be updated.

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